Nate Robertson had a tremendous 2006 season. He ended the year with a 3.48 ERA yet ended with a 13-13 win/loss record. This was attributed throughout the ’06 season to poor run support by his teammates when he was on the mound.
I know that a win/loss record is no real measure of a pitcher but in the game of baseball you are ultimately seeking a win for your team. There is also quite a bit of pride attached to winning games as quite a bit is still made in the media around 20 game winners.
Being a big fan of Nate’s I wanted to take a look at how much his team really didn’t have his back. I looked at the average runs by the Tigers as well as average runs by Tiger Opponents by each pitcher. I looked at runs scored for the entire game; partly out of laziness and also because the entire game determines a win or a loss not just when that pitcher is on the mound.
Here is what I found.
The below graph shows the average number of runs ultimately scored by the Tigers and against the Tigers. As you can see Nate ended with a below average number of runs scored against as well as a much below average runs scored for. Kenny Rogers ended up having the most run support with 5.91 average runs scored for each of his starts. Kenny also had the second most starts for the Tigers at 33. Zach Miner appears to have been helped out the most by his team as he had the highest average number of runs scored against with 4.86.
Looking at the Game by Game data for Nate also shows that the run support really withered towards the second half of the year. This was pretty much the case for all Tigers as this was during their second-half slump but this did affect Nate more than others.
Nate deserves better than this support. He single-handedly had most of Detroit chewing awful gum to support his teammates and the least they could do is help him out a little.